ROK expresses regret over Japanese PM's offering to war-linked shrine
The Republic of Korea (ROK) on Monday expressed regret over Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida sending a ritual offering to the notorious war-linked Yasukuni Shrine, seen as a symbol of the militaristic and colonial past of Japan.
The ROK foreign ministry said in a statement that it expresses deep disappointment and regret over the fact that leaders of Japan once again sent offerings to and paid respect at the Yasukuni Shrine, which glorifies Japan's war of aggression and enshrines war criminals.
The ROK government strongly urged the leaders of Japan to squarely face history and demonstrate their humble reflection and sincere remorse through action for Japan's past affairs.
The Japanese premier sent the offering earlier in the day on the occasion of the 77th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II and the Korean Peninsula's liberation from Japan's 1910-45 colonial rule.
While Kishida has not visited the controversial shrine in person since becoming prime minister in October last year, some of Japanese cabinet members paid homage at the shrine on Monday.
The Yasukuni Shrine in central Tokyo honors 2.5 million Japanese war dead, including 14 Class-A criminals from World War II.
Visits and ritual offerings made by Japanese officials to the infamous shrine have consistently sparked criticism and hurt the feelings of ROK and other countries that were brutalized by Japan during the war.